Thursday, August 27, 2009

Three Rivers

A show about transplant doctors. Hmmmm. It could be amazing. Or, since it's a topic close to my heart, it could be infuriating. I'm sure we'll be tuning in to watch at least the first episode. And without a doubt, I'll be bawling ten minutes in to it.

So then what'd you do?

We went on with life. That's the only way to explain the last few months. Ben healed, he's done all his required bloodwork, doctor appointments, taking his meds, etc. Our daily thoughts shifted from the transplant and the recovery to where to vacation, who should do the dishes, where to go for dinner on Friday night. We spent most evenings in Ben's parents pool, watching Miss J grow more daring with her diving and swimming skills, and preparing to send her off to first grade. We took off to Great Wolf Lodge, Kings Island and Holiday World (despite the fact that Ben can't ride roller coasters just yet - boy that was fun keeping him off of them) and we played tons and tons of Wii games.

It's hard to express what a luxary it is to have a normal, boring day. We take so much for granted, until there's a threat of it all going away. I hate that Ben had to go through this transplant. I hate the disease that could have killed him. I hate that for a while, Miss J shut herself off to Ben. And yet, something good has to come out of this. And it did. Thankfully, amazingly, Ben is doing great. Miss J seems to have overcome most of her fear and she's so in love with her daddy. I can also say that despite statistics pointing the other way, our marriage came through the past year stonger than ever. The divorce rate for couples where one partner has a chronic illness is 75%. I'm not going to say I'm shocked by that. I've told Ben this would have all been so much easier if I didn't love him. I can see how the stress and feeling like a single parent would crumble a marriage. Especially one that already had problems. I think we're good though. Unless any of you see him out running around with someone else. In which case, my threat** of "I'll remove that new liver with a rusty spoon and my bare hands" comes in to play.

**For any of you that don't know us, please understand we have a slightly twisted sense of humor. I would never actually use a rusty spoon to remove my husband's liver. Even if he was cheating on me. That would be horrible. I'm not really like that. I am a loving, kind human being. . .
I would use a rusty knife ;)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Some amazing numbers

From the Facebook page of Ben's hospital . . . "Transplants to date, Jan 1-May 1. Heart-8, Kidney-78, Pancreas-18, Liver-39, Lung-13, Intestine-12. Total 168 to date."

It's amazing to see that 39 in the liver catagory and to know that Ben's one of those 39. Actually, all of those numbers are amazing :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Can you ever have enough blogs?

I suppose I'm offically addicted to blogging now. Ben, it seems, is refusing to give me daily things to blog about on here (how dare he heal up so nicely and go on about his life ;)) so I'm starting up Suburbia 365. It's either this or start talking to the cat . . .

(Oh, and don't worry, updates will still be posted here. This blog will just be for the topics concerning Ben's transplant, PSC and liver disease - everyday life will be over on the new blog.)

Monday, April 20, 2009

And he's off!

The wound vac that is. The surgeon said that there's really nothing left for it to do in the healing process and now he will be using gauze and tape. The right side that's a tiny, tiny bit deep (like half a cm) will still have to be packed with gauze but the rest just needs an overlay. They want to see him back in 10 days when they will probably cauterize the shallow section on his chest. I'm not so sure about this part. It sounds horrid to me. (Must. Stop. Reading. Internet.) Of course, every time they see him, they mention a new plan of action. First it was a plan to staple the edges of his wound again, then the next visit they nixed that and it was a possible skin graft, then it was leaving it alone and just seeing how the wound vac healed it up and today it's cauterizing. At this point I wouldn't be shocked if the next new plan involved medical leeches and maggots. (Ben, if you're reading this, you'd better be extra nice to me or I am so suggesting leeches ;) )

That's all I've got in terms of big clinic news for the day. It's funny because we used to go in with a whole list of questions and concerns and now we can't come up with anything. I'm afraid of jinxing it but it seems that Ben's to the maintence part where the changes are slowing down and everything is leveling off. His levels are good, he feels good, his meds are working just fine, etc. Last November, it seemed like this phase was so far away and yet, 7 weeks after his transplant, here he is. If his next visit goes well, he won't have to be seen in clinic again for a month. A whole month. Just imagine. I suppose we'd better get working on some summer plans :)

Does this mini laptop make me look geeky?

Oh Dell Mini 9, how I love thee. I had no idea that I needed the ability to play on the internet while in a waiting room. Waiting at clinic is so much more fun with this nifty little machine. I highly recommend it. And as an added bonus, I can look up all the mysterious medical conditions/treatments/ medicines as I overhear them. (Although, if I look up too many, I'll probably find myself huddled in a supply closet somewhere covering myself with antiseptic and hoping for a Lysol bomb to go off so I can make a break for the parking garage).

I'll post an update this afternoon about how Ben's clinic visit went. We're going back and forth on the possibility of the surgeon taking Ben off the wound vac. At this point, the wound is very shallow. Most of it looks like his skin was just pulled off (nice visual for breakfast time huh?) and even the deepest part is almost totally closed. I'm not sure what they'll have him do if they do take him off the vac. Gauze and tape probably. Thankgoodness we have a year's supply of that already.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

It's not you, it's me (ok, it's really you)

Dear Local Grocery Store,

Hi. How are you? How's the rest of your grocery store family doing?

First off, a congratulations is in order. You have done a wonderful job advertising your new lower produce prices. Great! I'm all for lower prices. However, it seems that you neglected to mention that those lower prices are because you are now stocking only produce that was grown while Bush was still in office. Moldy strawberries, dried out grapes and mushy tomatoes are not a value at any price. Should I wish to feed my family sub-par produce, your store will be my first stop. Oh sure, over the next coming weeks, I'll still come around a couple of times. We've been together for so many years. I'm not sure if I can quit you just yet. But I'll admit, I know in my heart, I'll just be going through the motions while I'm there. I'm afraid I'll soon find myself looking at other grocery stores the way I used to look at you. If it helps, I'll say it's not you, it's me, but we'd both know I'm lying. You let yourself go and I'm just too set in my ways to continue our relationship. Call me old fashioned but I believe that produce should at least look somewhat edible. I'm so sorry it has to end this way.

Frustrated and Fruitless